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50 Expert Tips for Getting Started on Social Media

“If you were to give a one-sentence tip to a small business owner just started out with social media, what would you say?”
That’s the question we’ve been asking a lot over the last few weeks.
We’ve asked: business owners, marketers, social media experts, bloggers, entrepreneurs, best-selling authors, and a ton of other people who have achieved success on social media.
Most stuck to one sentence. Some cheated a little.
But all provided helpful tips that any business can use when getting started.

Now, it’s your turn! “If you were to give a one-sentence tip to a small business owner just started out with social media, what would you say?” Let us know on our blog:

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50 Expert Tips for Getting Started on Social Media

  1. 1. 50 Expert Tips for Getting Started on Social Media
  2. 2. When you’re getting started on social media, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed…
  3. 3. So, we reached out to a panel of experts to get some advice…
  4. 4. …and we asked them to KEEP IT SIMPLE.
  5. 5. We talked to: business owners marketers social media experts bloggers entrepreneurs authors journalists and more!
  6. 6. So, we reached out to a panel of experts to get some advice, but asked them to keep it simple. The Question: “If you were to give a one- sentence tip to a small business owner just starting out with social media, what would you say?”
  7. 7. So, we reached out to a panel of experts to get some advice, but asked them to keep it simple. Most stuck to one sentence. (Some cheated a little.) But all provided helpful tips that any business can use when getting started on social media…
  8. 8. So, we reached out to a panel of experts to get some advice, but asked them to keep it simple. Here are our favorite one- sentence tips for getting started on social media!
  9. 9. Every business has a story. What’s yours? Share it in a way that attracts clients and encourages prospects to take action. Rebekah Radice Social Media Strategist @rebekahradice
  10. 10. Go above and beyond on your original content and be consistent with it. When it works, it's the gift that keeps on giving. Melonie Dodaro, Founder, Top Dog Social Media @MelonieDodaro
  11. 11. In social media, content leads to conversations, conversations build relationships, and relationships result in ROI. Robert Caruso Founder & CEO, Bundle Post @fondalo
  12. 12. Social media is virtual networking. Take the time to build relationships just like you would face to face. Laura Cummins Owner, NineDotz Consulting @NineDotz
  13. 13. Start small. Work to increase engagement with those who have connected with you and figure out what types of content will get them to like, comment, and share. Gail Goodman CEO, Constant Contact @Gail_Goodman
  14. 14. Quality trumps quantity. Pick one or two social media platforms, and devote yourself to learning about them and using them well. Joseph Cole Content Writer Posted on Constant Contact Google+ Page
  15. 15. Find a trusted friend who also has a business that has been using a social media channel, and start learning from them. Don Richardson Digital Popcorn @DigitalPopcorn
  16. 16. …reach out to your best customers first (and worry about finding new customers after you are established) and let their enthusiasm help catapult your sustained success. Lynette Young Founder of Purple Stripe Productions and author of Google+ for Small Businesses @LynetteRadio
  17. 17. Be a lurker in social media before diving in to learn the ropes and create a strategy that will work for your biz. Alyssa Gregory The Small Business Bonfire @AlyssaGregory
  18. 18. Visuals are easier to relate to than text, so include images in your content that can be pinned to Pinterest and shared across other networks. Cynthia Sanchez Founder, Oh So Pinteresting @OSPInteresting
  19. 19. Be honest, be warm, be authentic, and put yourself in the shoes of your customers on social media. Kim Garst CEO of Boom! Social @KimGarst
  20. 20. Fight social media overwhelm by keeping it SIMPLE; don't be on every social media network — only where your audience spends lots of time and help them. Mike Gingerich Co-founder of Tabsite @mike_gingerich
  21. 21. Pick one network and do it well first. Choose one that you like to use personally and are comfortable using. Master it. Julia C. Campbell J Campbell Social Marketing @JuliaCSocial
  22. 22. Study your competition and watch where they participate in social dialog. Don't reinvent the wheel. Mike Stelzner Founder, Social Media Examiner @ Mike_Stelzner
  23. 23. Start slowly with one or two platforms that your audience or potential audience uses. Find content and conversation starters that resonate with them, and post consistently. Beth Kanter Beth’s Blog: How Nonprofits Can Use Social Media @kanter
  24. 24. As you're developing your overall social media strategy and goals, spend time on various social media sites and get a sense for the best practices of each platform, plus the top conversation topics and questions about your business and industry. Jessica Gioglio Social Media Manager, Dunkin’ Donuts Author of The Power of Visual Storytelling @savvybostonian
  25. 25. Be useful and indispensable. John Haydon Founder of Inbound Zombie and Author of Facebook Marketing for Dummies @JohnHaydon
  26. 26. Don't take on too much. Focus on doing one thing right on social media before moving on. Lisa Kalner Williams Founder, Sierra Tierra Marketing @sierratierra
  27. 27. Have enormous empathy for your audience — in other words, look at things from their point of view. Be useful to your audience. Think: Would people THANK ME for this? Is it meeting their needs, or just fulfilling my agenda? Ann Handley Chief Content Officer, MarketingProfs @MarketingProfs
  28. 28. Identify your goals, then make a plan! Ashley Taylor Anderson Marketing Manager, SinglePlatform @SinglePlatform
  29. 29. Be consistent and be yourself. Sean D’Souza Chief Brain Auditor, Psychotactics @seandsouza
  30. 30. You're not gonna break stuff, just get started! Joey C Creator, @Joey_C
  31. 31. Share something small every day. Small things over time get big. (And read my book, of course: Austin Kleon Author of Show Your Work! @austinkleon
  32. 32. Hire a professional (like my company) to manage it if you are unable to put forth the time and effort to run it effectively. Manage Your Media Posted on Constant Contact Facebook Page
  33. 33. All good things come from focusing on who you’re trying to reach and how you can make them successful. Dave Charest Sr. Manager, Content & Social Media, Constant Contact @DaveCharest
  34. 34. After creating your accounts, follow like minded businesses, then watch and observe to get the tone of the platform, then begin to engage. Pam Wood Owner, Ballroom Made Simple Posted on Constant Contact Google+ Page
  35. 35. Don't talk to people, talk with them. Catherine Russell Content Writer Posted on Constant Contact Google+ Page
  36. 36. Watch your spelling! Tammy Weaver Posted on Constant Contact Facebook Page
  37. 37. You don't have to create all original content, just be a good source for trending content in your industry. Shannon Faulkner CEO, Delphis Creative Marketing Solutions Posted on Constant Contact Google+ Page
  38. 38. Learn from the experts and never pass up a social media class or seminar. Charles River Running Posted on Constant Contact Facebook Page
  39. 39. Provide value and don't expect immediate results. Rick Bannerman Digital Marketing Consultant Posted on Constant Contact Google+ Page
  40. 40. Don’t worry about being on every social network — focus on the ones that your audience uses because they’ll be more likely to engage with you and see your messages there. Azure Collier Social Media Education Developer, Constant Contact @AzureCollier
  41. 41. Let your personality shine through. It's your biggest differentiator and will attract the right people to your business! Jonathan Cooney Co-founder, The Bridge @TheBridgeSpot
  42. 42. Try to be informative and share some useful tips. Robert Connell Posted on Constant Contact Facebook Page
  43. 43. The key is to focus on the right conversations that are meaningful to your business, like replies on Twitter, posts to your fan page on Facebook and to look for the local, targeted conversations you can become a part of. Tammy Kahn Fennell CEO and Co-founder, MarketMeSuite @TammyKFennell
  44. 44. Get professional advice on how to use it. It’s not the same as your personal page. The Dinner Daily Posted on Constant Contact Facebook Page
  45. 45. Choosing the most relevant social channel for your business is the key to making it work effectively for you and getting the best return on investment possible. Matt Ward President/CEO, inConcert Solutions @inConcertWeb
  46. 46. Be authentic. Be yourself. Don't try to copy someone else's game plan. Every company is different and your unique content must come from the heart and soul of your company. Be you. Leslie Fishlock Founder and CEO, Geek Girl Camp @geekgirlcamp
  47. 47. Forget what you know about traditional marketing, use social media to focus on getting to know your customers. Danielle Cormier Social Media Community Manager, Constant Contact @dcorms
  48. 48. Start out right by being consistent on the platform that you own — begin by creating content on your blog that solves the problems of your ideal customer, include a shareable image in each post, and then share that post on just 1 or 2 social platforms to begin with. Donna Moritz Founder, Socially Sorted @SociallySorted
  49. 49. If you're using Facebook, make sure you've got a Facebook PAGE and not a profile! Kim Walker Leader of Social Media Management, 5 Stones Media, LLC @5stonesmedia
  50. 50. Start with one channel and become consistent. Todd Smith Director of Marketing, Catamaran Marketing @catamarketing
  51. 51. Approach social from the eye of the buyer and write or curate content that improves their life or business. Karla Williams Success Strategist, Karla Williams Speaks @KarlaWSpeaks
  52. 52. Figure out which channel works for your industry and focus on it first. Carlos Scarpero Founder, Mr.Leads @DaytonSEOservic
  53. 53. Don’t overthink it! Be authentic, be real, be you. Kristen Curtiss Social Media Content Developer, Constant Contact @KristenCurtiss
  54. 54. Find out what platform your customers and potential customers use and focus your efforts there rather than trying to be everywhere. Anne Siri Owner, Iris Web Studio @iriswebstudio
  55. 55. Be strategic and focus on one platform that seems most promising for your brand and be awesome at that, rather than being mediocre at a bunch of different platforms. Matt Steele Social Media Planner, San Diego Zoo @mattofsteele
  56. 56. Identify the correct social media platform(s) and then post with some consistency, commit to at least once per week. Matthew Service Founder, Service Internet Solutions @mattservice
  57. 57. Choose the social media platforms that work for your business and reach your target market. Jenneil Peters CEO and Founder, Modern Working Woman @ModWorkingWoman
  58. 58. Don’t push, engage! John Hinnant Posted on Constant Contact Facebook Page
  59. 59. Thanks for sticking around. We hope it was helpful. If you’re interested in more social media advice, flip to the next page. If not, thanks again and best of luck with your social media marketing!
  60. 60. You’re still here! If you want access to more social media tips, and a ton of other useful online marketing resources, Subscribe to our Hints & Tips newsletter. We promise to never spam your inbox, and only deliver the best possible content we have available to help you succeed, and ultimately — do more business.